A Beggars Purse

A Beggars Purse

ABOUT Toni Nelson

Toni Nelson
I’ve been called Miss Personality, the life of the party, and social butterfly. When I gaze into a mirror, I see Miss Reserved, Deep Thinker, and the Loner. God has a custom design for every individual, equipping each for a specific achievement and purpose. I am an active ministry leader More...


Toni Nelson grew up in a beautiful home, set in an idyllic beach community, making friends with the hobos passing through town on the freight trains.  Her grandparents' home was a "safe house" for the roaming drifters, and Toni learned at an early age the joy that could come from showing compassion to those less fortunate.
Later in life, Toni moved to Nevada and was struck by the amount of homeless and penniless peopling the city of Las Vegas.  With a heart opened and sustained by God, Toni embarked on a journey to help the people who have nothing, and now shares her experiences in this touching and beautiful memoir.
Join Toni in her journey to share God's love with the people around her, and discover the treasures that can be found in A Beggar's Purse.

How do you react when approached by a homeless person? Do you stop and listen or simply walk away as if the person doesn't exist? You too can join in this journey and discover the treasures that can be found in A Beggars Purse. The inspiration for writing this book came to me while I was lying in bed under a down comforter in the chill of winter ailing from the flu. My mind was wandering aimlessly, as one's mind normally chooses to do so when sick with the flu. From my bedroom window, I have a gorgeous view of Mount Charleston. The mountain is a cool haven in the Spring Mountains near Las Vegas, Nevada. As I gazed out over the mountain, completely enveloped in snow, an idea welled up inside of me that made me feel as giddy as Scrooge on Christmas morning. Here I was lying in bed, sick with the flu and actually laughing out loud. I felt like a mad person, a raging lunatic, and the best part was that I didn't even care. This is a story inspired by my own childhood memories in rural Carpinteria, California. God then relocated me to Las Vegas, Nevada, where he engaged me with a population I had long forgotten: The homeless.

A Beggars Purse by Toni Nelson is a tightly composed memoir of a smiling, loving, caring Christian person who momentarily lost sight of her godly responsibility regarding the needy. I thoroughly enjoyed her recollection of what her childhood was like with the hobos her grandparents helped to feed. And then totally understood the slow transition away from doing things God's way and getting more involved with school, college, marriage and kids. I think a lot of smilers (she tells us that she has always been a smiler, as have I) go through this same process only to come back around to their original desire to help others when the timing is right. 

Toni realizes (again as an adult) that serving the needy is a God-given command. When Jesus says feed the hungry, clothe the poor, help people in desperate straits, He doesn't give specifics. Just do it. He will send folks up to you to ask for help, and your job as His servant is to help the one who comes. Never turn away someone who asks for help or food. God would never turn us away and He asks us to be like Him. 

From A BEGGARS PURSE: p. 87 The majority of my friends know that whenever a homeless person approaches me and they ask me for food, I will not hesitate to find them a meal, On the other hand, some of my friends have told me that those street people are using me. I am embarrassed to say that this quote has been conveyed to me numerous times by people in the church. (end quote) 

A very sad but common occurrence. When in the city with my Christian friends, they invariably condemn me for helping the homeless or beggars. Toni Nelson gives us a wonderful little book to help us explain to our friends why we do what we do. We do it because Jesus would do it and Toni really does it well because she also prays for the person when she gives them some food. Sounds like Someone else I know. 

Ellen C Maze